Tuesday, 22 June 2010

VCB 14: Meet Helen, Zeb and Charles

This blog is where I tell you the story behind my username. 'Huzzah,' I hear you cry, 'no more long blogs about how we should support equality or how a cinema can be compared to a church'. I may get carried away with my topics. I like to ramble. I will try not to with today's (try being the operative word here).

So if for some strange reason you are unaware that I have a Youtube and Twitter account then you may not realise my chosen username is Helenzebcharles which is an alterego created by three pre-existing alteregos. Confused? Then please read on. But first I want to tell you that the idea for this blog came from my friend Heather who explained the story behind her username PinkPixieDF in her VidConBlog project. Click here to go and read it.


Helen is hopefully the most self-explanatory part of my username. I was named Helen on May 25th 1986 and while I wished there was a more interesting story it really was just because my parents liked it. And luckily I like it too - so much that I used it to create my Youtube alterego.

Side note - My middle name is Elizabeth which I am not so keen on. Although if it were my first name I could be referred to as Betty. But the reason for that would purely be because I love Betty Suarez.I could start a ramble here about how much I love the show Ugly Betty but I will save you all and move onto Zeb.


Zeb is short for Zebedee and has a more interesting story surrounding it. When I was about 7 or 8 I started trampolining and, as I believe I have said in previous blogs, I actually had quite a talent for it. I got to the point where I was going to be sent to bigger trampolining school in the next town because I had outgrown the club I was at. Unfortunately this was about the time I threw my back out and could no longer trampoline. Sods law.

Anyway in Year 5 - when I was about 9 - I had a teacher called Miss Grix. She was a great teacher and really fun, smart person. I am of course excluding her trying to convert the class into Lighthouse Family fans. That is always going to be unforgivable. For the entire year I would listen to Ocean Drive only to realise the following year that when your teacher isn't insisting you listen to it the song is pretty dire. But I digress.

On Fridays Miss Grix - who was young and bubbly with curly hair - introduced reading the register with a nickname for everyone. Of course as children this made her the world's coolest teacher. She gave us nicknames! Wow! Although thinking about it she probably doesn't think that much of me - I think the last time I saw her when I was about 15 I was very drunk trying to convince her to go to a house party. I probably shattered her dreams that her kids would grow up relatively normal. But then I have already explained the Lighthouse Family scars.

So with my penchant for bouncing around on a sprung bed I naturally became Zebedee. Now to fill in Americans who may not know this reference; Zebedee is a children's television character from a show called The Magic Roundabout from the 1970s. You can watch an original episode by clicking here. In hindsight it was probably conceived by someone who had been a fan of the more liberal side of the 70s... if you get the gist.

Zebedee was basically a round head on a spring, who travels by bouncing about. Ah! You all see how this has neatly weaved into my story now! Anyway I really liked this nickname and over time my friend shortened it to Zeb - although I believe only one person of my friendship group continues to refer to me as Zeb.

Unfortunately adding an image here makes you all realise that I have been likened to a sunburnt male ping-pong ball with a moustache and a need for a comical polka dot bow tie. But I guess there are worse characters to be likened to. At least Zebedee was friends with a cow that carries a flower in her mouth and a dog with cute flowing hair. By the way I had a Dougal pencil case for quite a few years at High School. I think it is hard to make a pencil case out of a character primarily made of coiled wire...


The above picture is Christina Ricci and Tobey Maguire on set of the film 'The Ice Storm' which is where my third and final alter-ego is derive (stolen) from. Paul and Wendy, played by Maguire and Ricci, are siblings who share a rather dry and cynical sense of humour. Part of their relationship involves referring to each other only as Charles. My sister and I thought this was quite quirky and adopted the name for each other. (In the book most of the younger characters refer to each other as Charles but this is changed in the adaptation).

My sister and I always use our Charles alter-egos when writing cards or emails to each other. I also have her down as Charles in my phone. I must remember to bring back our habit of starting phone conversations with only 'Greetings Charles' which I miss. This is my favourite nickname and is for my sister only. It is pretty random but then I can't remember a reason in either the book or the film for the pseudonyms either!

So there you have it. My alter-ego is Helenzebcharles, a girl with three names for three different sides of me: original flavoured me, trampoline flavoured me and sisterly-love flavoured me.

My answer: I have some accounts registered as Appreciatethewalnut (well actually... just Photobucket I think) so I would go with this. People who have visited my Youtube channel page will notice that Appreciate the Walnut is, and always has been, my main tagline. I believe it was a phrase my sister and I came up with when savouring some coffee and walnut cake. You only get a small segment of walnut so never forget: appreciate the walnut!


A.J. James said...

This is a really difficult question for me, because I have used aslanenlisted for so very long. I can say some of the variations that led to that screen name.

My first ever hotmail email account (wayyyyy back in 1994!!) was SirArthur72 which was a combination of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and my own idea that while I would never be a king I would be a great knight ala Sir Arthur of Camelot.

After a while I started incorporating different uses of Aslan into my screen name.

AslantheMeek and AslantheMk1 apparently before I joined the military I was very meek

Occaisionally I use Narnian1 as a scrren name but only on XboxLive currently.

and Finally the username I have been using for nearly 11 years is the afore mentioned aslanenlisted a derivative of The Character of Aslan of Narnia and the fact that I was an enlisted soldier.

Kim said...

My most common one is my name backwards. Vultureswaiting cones from an offspring song. I never got the Charles name so I'm glad that's cleared up. :-) x

PinkPixieDF (Heather) said...

If I had to change it? I dunno. My youtube name is FaeryFaith... I never thought I would use youtube for anything other than watching videos. I only made an account so I could comment and for some reason I just wanted to make it different from the PinkPixie name. Now I'm stuck with FaeryFaith and I wish I could change it to PinkPixieDf. If I really had to change it though I'd probably go with Isis D. or something incorporating that. I used to do star wars role play online and my characters' name was Isis Debahnnah. I often use Isis D. as a gamer name.

Helen E. Abbott said...

@JooJoo - Aw, I don't think I knew about the Knight of the Round Table thing. And the meek thing cracked me up.

@Kim - I always wondered where vultureswaiting came from!

@Heather - I think if I'd have known my Youtube life was going to develop I too would have chosen something different.